Friday, 30 October 2015

5 Redevelopments that made Newcastle awesome

Let's get one fact established before I write this article - Newcastle wasn't always great. I'm nostalgic given how much I love the city but up until about 10 years ago Newcastle seemed stuck in a 1980's nightmare. Anyone remember what the centre of Eldon Square used to look like?! 

Seriously, this was built in the 80's and didn't come down until 2007. Source
But in the last decade or so, there's been some significant steps in turning Newcastle into the fucking awesome city everyone who lives here knows it should be! Starting with....

1 - The Gate 

Before -

Look at it. Look at this goddamn travesty. - source

After -

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What used to be the old Newgate House, and opening in 2002, The Gate at the time had the largest glass paneling feature in Europe, which sounds like a convoluted award but anyone who's seen it in person can't help but think it looks fucking awesome and well worth the £80 Million price tag. Housing the Empire Cinema, Casino, and main bars for the nightlife of Newcastle nowadays, The Gate started off the idea Newcastle could embrace both its past while moving with its future. 

2 - Eldon Square (2010)

Before

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 After

Not the best photo of the renovation, but it's the most accurate position for the comparison! Source
Turning an old shitty car park into one of the first big pushes to make shopping in Newcastle a bit more "modern" the new Eldon Square spent £170 MILLION bringing in Topshop, Debenhams, All Saints, and even an Apple Store for its opening, because we're gannin geet posh like. For that cost I'd hope so!

Bigg Market - 2013-present

Before

Bambu. The noise of 90's dance, the smell of vomit and ket, and the sight of gratuitious groping on the dancefloor - Source
 After

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Me and Beca recently went into Filthys, a branch of the Irish bar company Filthy McNasty's, and I think it's exactly what Newcastle needs, it's a big bar with niche decor and alternative music and this being the first "major" venue for non-mainstream personalities to visit in Newcastle. 

Not only that, there's been a £3 Million redevelopment announced of the Bigg Market yet to be complete, even though we've already got a German Bier Keller, a Japanese inspired Cat Cafe, and an American themed-desserts diner out of it, it looks like Newcastle's old haunt for a punch up is now becoming a melting pot of the best parts of worldwide entertainment culture and it's going to be awesome.

4 - Central Station 2011-2015

Before -

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After -

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 The investment on Central station has seen a train reaction on Tyneside improvements (get it? Chain reaction, train? TELL ME I'M FUNNY!) with £9 Million on the Portico entrance, and £11 Million on the station itself, one of the few Grade 1 train stations in the country. The layout of the new Central is so much more minimalist, there isn't as much clutter before the barriers and the shops are all serving a purpose - quick food, coffee, stationary etc. It's the first thing a lot of tourists see in Newcastle and it's a hell of a first impression to make! 

5 - Monument Mall

Concept

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 Monument Mall post-redevelopment - Source

The £37 Million redevelopment of the Green market & Monument is the final bit I wanted to cover. Since the shops outside Greys Monument have went from the Newcastle Fan Shop, Monument Mall and Evans to Hugo Boss, Fat Face, Reiss, Jack Wills and The Botanist there's been a fair change from a few years ago and an attempt to give Newcastle its very own "special street" of leading brands. Even if Jamie's Italian is ran by the man who stole my Turkey Twizzlers. Prick.

These 5 picks come weighing in at £300 Million. That's a lot of money spent on making our city the perfect blend of old Gothic Architecture and modern, borderline futuristic designs. Newcastle goes from strength to strength with Sketchers and Tiger opening in Eldon Square soon. Honourable mentions also go to The Sage, who despite being a great venue for local music, technically is in Gateshead rather than the City Centre and hell even Newcastle College, but glorifying education isn't cool these days and let's be honest, I speak good England already...


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